The Rwanda Emergent Literacy and Maths Initiative (ELMI) case study
This paper discusses applied research initiatives led by Save the Children in Rwanda that were used to inform advocacy and policy efforts surrounding the expansion of high quality early childhood education (ECE) services in Rwanda. Qualitative and quantitative studies were carried out around a new program focused on improving early literacy and math competencies (the Emergent Literacy and Maths Initiative (ELMI)) from 2013–2017. They include a Political Economy Analysis in 2013–2014 and longitudinal impact evaluations in 2014–2015 and 2015–2016. Together, the mixed-methods data helped to identify strengths and gaps in the Rwandan education system, potential solutions to improving ECE for all children in the country, and insights into best practices for taking successful pilot programs to scale in a low-income country. Changes in national policy and ECE service provision are discussed.